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UPDATE: Novartis books 14% rise in Q3 earnings, raises outlook for 2019

Novartis AG said its third-quarter 2019 core net income rose 14% in U.S. dollar terms year over year. The company also raised its sales and profit guidance for 2019.

The Swiss drugmaker, maker of blood cancer medicine Kymriah, reported core net income from continuing operations of $3.21 billion, or $1.41 per share, up from $2.82 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the year-ago period.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the third quarter of 2019 is $1.33.

Net sales for the quarter were $12.17 billion, up 10% from $11.02 billion in the year-ago quarter. Novartis attributed the sales growth mainly to its products Cosentyx, Entresto and Zolgensma, as well as the company’s acquisition of Xiidra from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Net income for the quarter was $2.04 billion, or 90 cents per share, up from $1.88 billion, or 81 cents per share, a year ago.

For the first nine months of 2019, Novartis booked core net income of $9.12 billion, or $3.97 per share, up 11% from $8.24 billion, or $3.55 per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the nine-month period were $35.04 billion, up 5% from $33.27 billion in the same period in 2018.

The Swiss drugmaker further raised its net sales outlook for 2019, expecting high single-digit growth on a constant currency basis for the full year. Previously, the company predicted growth in mid- to high-single digits on a constant currency basis.

Additionally, Novartis revised its full-year outlook for core operating income upwards, now expecting growth of mid- to high teens on a constant currency basis compared to a previous expectation of low double-digit to mid-teens.

Guidance for the full year excludes Novartis' former eye care business Alcon Inc. and its generic unit Sandoz Inc.'s U.S. oral solids and dermatology business in 2018 and 2019. The outlook also assumes that no generics for Novartis' multiple sclerosis treatment Gilenya will enter the market in 2019.

Novartis spun off Alcon as a stand-alone business, which is dual-listed on the New York and Swiss stock exchanges.

The Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker developed Zolgensma, the first and only gene therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a genetic neuromuscular disorder called spinal muscular atrophy.